Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>Youth & Community Work - BA (Hons) Degree

Youth & Community Work - BA (Hons) Degree

Entry Year

​The course is professionally endorsed by Education Training Standards (ETS) Wales and recognised by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Youth & Community Workers.

The course is designed for youth and community workers who wish to extend their understanding, skills and competence as informal educators and gain a nationally recognised professional qualification in youth and community work.

All our lectures are undertaken in small cohorts (usually no more than 35 students) and delivered by qualified staff who have significant experience in youth and community work. Students are on placement throughout the course in a wide variety of youth and community settings. 

Youth and community workers play a central role in today’s society, working in a wide range of formal and informal educational settings, supporting individuals’ personal and social development and enabling them to realise their potential. 

This course helps students to develop their critical faculties, giving them a deeper understanding of social inclusion, empowerment and the nature of society, allowing them to develop skills that will enable them to engage effectively in a key role in the community.

​Course Content​

This programme will undergo periodic review in 2022. As such, course content shown below may change to ensure the programme remains current. Any applicants will be informed of any changes once confirmed. 

Foundation year (Year 0):​ 

This programme can incorporate a foundation year (year 0) for those students who aspire to enrol onto the first year of the youth & community work honours degree programme within Cardiff Metropolitan University, who have not achieved the standard entry requirements, or who have not studied subjects or gained relevant practice experience that provide the necessary background required to ​enter the first year of the chosen honours degree programme. 

Students wishing to undertake the foundation year will apply for the youth & community work degree programme they intend to progress to, using the relevant UCAS code listed on this course page (under Entry Requirements and How to Apply) and apply for entry point 0 on the UCAS website. As such, students following the foundation route will take an extra year to complete their honours degree.

Further information about the foundation year can be found by clicking here​.


Level 4
(Normally completed in 1 academic year full-time or 15 months part-time) 

You will be given an introduction to professional skills as a youth and community worker, and academic skills are provided through a stand alone module as well as integrated in the programme. You will cover basic concepts in sociology and social psychology, whilst also studying human development and the learning theory that underpins informal and formal education practice. A community research module will enable you to undertake a small piece of research on a community of interest to you. You will undertake a placement in a youth and community setting at every level, and a tutorial will support this each week in term time. At Level 4, you will undertake a placement of 200 hours. 

The modules are: 

  • Human Development and Learning
  • Working with People in a Social Context
  • Community Research
  • Analysis & Application to Practice
  • Practice Placement and Professional Development

Level 5:
(Normally completed in 1 academic year full-time or 15 months part-time) 

You will study issues connected with education, politics and social policy and be introduced to research skills for youth & community practitioners. Modules consider issues of equality, social justice, leadership, management and organisational theory in a youth and community context. At Level 5, you will undertake a placement of 400 hours, including a block placement for 8 to 10 weeks, supported by tutorials. 

The modules are: 

  • Researching Practice
  • Managing Effective Practice
  • Anti-Oppressive Practice
  • Education for Change
  • Practice Placement and Professional Development. 


Level 6:
(Normally completed in 1 academic year full-time or 2 academic years part-time) 

At level 6 there are a combination of core and option modules. At this point in your studies you will have a clearer idea of the direction your career is taking and what your particular areas if interest are, so you have the option of studying subjects which reflect current practices in the fields of youth work and community development work. All honours degree candidates undertake a 200 hour placement, and a piece of research (dissertation) on an area of your choice, supported by tutorials. 

The modules include: 

  • The Global Context
  • Community Development Work
  • Dissertation
  • Independent Study
  • Teaching in Non-formal Environments
  • Partnership and Multi Agency Working
  • Crime and Justice
  • Practice Placement and Professional Development.

Learning & Teaching

The course content is split between fieldwork placements (40%) in a wide range of community and/or youth work agencies and university-based, lecture study (60%). Lectures and tutorials / fieldwork placements are modular in structure with an emphasis on the application of theory to practice. Although students undertake self-study there is also an emphasis on group work throughout the programme. Learner guidance is generally available from Professional (personal) and Module Tutors and Fieldwork Facilitators (in the workplace).

All students have access to a Professional (personal) Tutor throughout the course as well as a Dissertation Tutor at Level 6. The Professional Tutor facilitates the weekly group tutorials, provides support to students on placement and is available for individual tutorials. Fieldwork Facilitators take on the role of supporting students on placement by holding regular supervision sessions with the student and observe them, on at least two occasions, using a format to encourage reflection and critical analysis.

The teaching and learning strategies used on the programme have evolved over time. The use of group tutorials to enquire into and promote critical reflection on practice has proved to be an important and valuable component of the programme, while the taught modules have tended to draw upon the experience of practitioners to ‘breathe life’ into the concepts and theories being examined. The learning and teaching opportunities in the workplace are crucial to the students’ development and, as such, the role of the Fieldwork Facilitator is a major factor in helping to secure that learning. 

Moodle is used to support learning at all levels of study. In addition, students have access to an array of innovative and comprehensive e-learning packages developed by the Academic Skills Unit and a vast library of books and journals (including e-copies), available from Library Services.


Assessment methods are varied to enable a range of attributes to be exhibited. The assessments are completed on either an individual or group basis and include written assignments, group presentations, community profiling, poster design, developing resources and initiating a campaign. A number of these assessment methods have been chosen to mirror processes and demands that occur within youth and community development work, particularly those which use social and verbal attributes. ​

Employability & Careers

This course is designed to provide a professionally recognised qualification in youth and community work. The course attracts students who are interested in a range of community professions including youth work, community education, community development, supported housing, alternative education/alternative curriculum, mentoring and guidance, youth justice and voluntary organisations working in a community setting.

Professionally qualified staff are in high demand, particularly as Youth Work has been a degree-entry profession since 2010. Many graduates will find paid employment in the above professions whilst they are students, and promotion is often secured upon completion of the professional qualification.

Graduates from the programme can progress to study at Masters and PhD levels at Cardiff Metropolitan University. The School of Education Masters Framework offers a number of qualifying routes including the MA Education (Managing Community Practice).

Entry Requirements​ & How to Apply

Applicants to the BA (Hons) Youth & Community Work (Youth Work) should have a minimum of 100 hours recent and relevant professional experience in the field of youth or community development work, or a closely related profession, verifiable via production of a reference from an appropriately qualified youth and/or community work practitioner.

In addition, all applicants should have 80 points from at least 2 A Levels (or equivalent). Typical offers may include:

  • 80 points from at least 2 A Levels to include grades CC; Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as a third subject

  • RQF BTEC National Extended Diploma/Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma with an overall grade of MMP

  • CACHE Diploma with grade C (minimum 96 points)

  • 80 points from the Irish Leaving Certificate at Highers (minimum grade considered at Higher is H4)

  • 80 points from the Scottish Advanced Highers to include grade DD. Scottish Highers are also considered, either on their own or in combination with Advanced Highers

  • 80 points from the Access to Higher Education Diploma 

  • Be qualified as a Youth Support Worker (Level 3 Certificate in Youth work or NVQ/VRQ Level 3) or equivalent qualifications in the Community Development sector.

For applicants who are only undertaking 2 A levels or equivalent, this will be considered along with the rest of the academic profile and we may issue a graded offer in lieu of an offer using the UCAS Tariff.

If you are studying combinations of the above, or if your qualification isn't listed, please either contact Admissions or refer to UCAS Course Search for the entry requirements. Further information on our entry requirements, including qualifications from the EU can be found by clicking here.

Entry is also subject to a satisfactory criminal records check. More details about criminal records procedures can be found at

Other routes onto the BA (Hons) Youth and Community programme.

If you do not have the entry requirements for the degree programme, but have 48 UCAS points or equivalent, you can apply for the Youth and Community Work Foundation degree – successful completion of which guarantees you consideration for the degree programme. For further information about the foundation programme please click here.

It is also possible to apply for exceptional entry if you do not meet the academic entry criteria above if you have significant experience in youth and community work and are able to show that you can work at degree level (Level 4) or Foundation level (Level 3). Please contact the Programme Director if you wish to discuss this.

International Applicants
Students whose first language is not English will need to provide evidence of fluency to at least an IELTS 6.0 standard or equivalent. For full details about how to apply and English Language qualifications please visit the International pages on the website.

Selection Procedure:
Selection is normally based on the receipt of a UCAS application form for full-time students or the Cardiff Met application form for part-time students. Selection is also based on an interview.

How to Apply:
Applications for the full-time course should be made online to UCAS at Part-time applications should be made direct to the university at​. For further information please visit our How to Apply pages at

Part-time applications should be made direct to the University at

Recognised Prior Learning (RPL) and Credit Transfer into year 2 & 3

If you are interested in transferring credit from another institution to study at Cardiff Met for a course which accepts entry for year 2 and/or 3, you can find further information on this and information on how to apply on the RPL page. Please contact Admissions for any queries that you have on RPL.

Mature students

A mature applicant is anyone over the age of 21 who didn't go to university after school or college. Cardiff Met welcomes applications from mature applicants and further advice and information can be found here.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email​.

For course specific enquiries, please contact the programme director, Louise Cook:
Tel: 029 2020 5947​​​

Key Course Information

Accredited by:
Professionally endorsed by the Education and Training Standards (ETS) Wales and recognised by the Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Youth and Community Workers.

UCAS Code:
(Full-time routes only)

X320: BA (Hons) Youth & Community Work (Youth Work)*
*Foundation students should also use this UCAS code and apply for entry point 0 on the UCAS website.

Place of Study: 
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy

Course Length:
Three years full-time for the degree or four years full-time with the foundation certificate.

Part-time route – normally 4 to 5 years, though students are allowed up to ten years to complete part-time, if they wish. Attendance for this course is flexible, depending on the number of modules completed each year.

Part-time fees:
Charges are per single module unless specified: undergraduate = 10 credits. Please contact the programme leader for further information on modules to be studied part-time and how this will affect fees.

Overall Student Satisfaction*
*National Student Survey 2020
Meet the Team: Louise Cook

Meet Louise Cook, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director in the undergraduate Youth and Community Work programmes at Cardiff Met. Louise talks about her experience and how youth workers can really make a difference to young people.

From Foundation to BA: My amazing study journey with Youth and Community Work

Esther tells us about her studies and how she secured her first paid youth work employment from her placement hours.
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My Indonesian trip of a lifetime with Youth & Community Work

Josie highlights how she found new confidence in her youth work volunteering at Kampus Diakonia Modern in Indonesia.
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Youth and Community Work gave me a new confidence and a job I love

Graduate Mark blogs about his journey to youth and community work and securing his first paid job as a substance misuse youth worker for Cardiff Council.
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Full terms and conditions in relation to accepting an offer to study at Cardiff Metropolitan University can be found by visiting